Friday, August 31, 2018

Out of my Comfort Zone

I like to be learning new things.  I did of course know it all as a teenager, but that was such a long time ago.  I actually was a good student back in the day.  Now it seems my learning curve has gotten much steeper.  Still, it is important to me to keep climbing it.

Learning sometimes involves new experiences so earlier this month I put myself out there.

Writers' Workshops held a public reading by workshop participants.  I signed up to read some of my poetry.

And then I actually went to the bar with a couple of my friends, had a glass of wine,  got up on stage and read three of my poems out loud.

Here's proof!

People laughed and applauded and it felt amazing!  My poet rock star moment.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Pushing it?

It's still August, probably my least favorite month of the entire year.  Every other month flies by like I'm standing still.  August refuses to go away.

So what better way to spend a steamy hot August day than making Christmas cards?

I played around with four different designs and have picked the one I will make to send out this year.





I am not a last minute kind of person. I will organize this project like an assembly line: cutting individual parts, stamping, gluing.  I won't until maybe October, but by golly, I do have my plan in place.

Anybody want to take a guess about my Myers-Briggs personality type?

No, I have not finished my Christmas shopping.  I can do that right up until a week before Christmas. But I have started and, yes, there is a list involved.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Full Moon

 I was taking an evening walk.  I haven't been paying too much attention to the cycles of the moon lately so this was a surprise and a treat. I will have to start paying more attention.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Time with Friends

I had a wonderful time on Pratt Pond in southern New Hampshire with my friend Diane.  We were able to get in activity -- kayaking, walking, hiking.  We went to the Children's Fair in town on Saturday, an event that has been held for 170 years.  We went to Porter Hill Sweets, a local chocolate artisan that has become a tradition far more worthy than the Children's Fair in my book!

It was rainy some of the time so we played games and had quiet reading time.  We saw The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on Netflix and we both enjoyed it.  We went to see A Man of Destiny at the playhouse in Peterborough.  There was a HUGE storm that hit just as the play was starting.  Lightning struck and knocked out the stage lights at the end of the first act, but show business and the play must go on.  They rigged up lights with extension cords.  Act 2 was a night scene so it wasn't so bad that the actors had to carry on while carrying lanterns.  It added some excitement.

Tomorrow I will meet my friend Ginnie for breakfast.  She is starting school on Thursday.  We were special educators together.  Now she is working as a para-educator in retirement.  We used to joke about that is what we would do in retirement . . . but I'm just as glad I am not living out that particular plan.

Tomorrow night I will be meeting with my favorite writing group and Thursday is getting together with the card making group.

I am truly blessed with friendships.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


I am on my way to Pratt Pond in southern New Hampshire for time with my friend Diane.

I will be ghosting the blogs I usually visit only because it is also a vacation from electronics.

There will be kayaking.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


My grandson is so special to me.  He still likes to hang out with his old granny.  He is also the only one who agreed to go kayaking with me last weekend.  I LOVE kayaking.

We went to Lake St. Catherine in Poultney/Wells, VT.  It is 13 miles from my daughter's house, traveling up into the Taconic Mountain range along twisting rural roads.  The kind of ride that prompts repeated questioning, "Grandma, are you sure this is the right way?"

I also love the GPS in my Ford C-Max.  We got there with no problem and I think Dane trust the GPS more than he trusts my sense of direction.  Smart kid.

We rented kayaks at the state park and paddled around the lake to the south of the state park beach area.

Kind of  cliffy lake

 We also spent some time swimming and had some light snacks before setting out once again for the northern section of the lake. The water was calmer there.  There were stretches of unpopulated shore line too.  That's the kind of peaceful kayaking I like to do.

The northern part of the lake was much more quiet.

Dane was quite a ways away from me, but I could hear him singing to himself as he paddled along.  Hw as in the yellow and green kayak and I was in the red one.  He tended to paddle a bit faster than me so it was hard to get a picture.  He liked the peacefulness of the second leg of the trip as well.  For some reason that just warmed my heart.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

I am being followed

on Google+.

I have legitimate followers even though I rarely look at Google+.  know this because my blogs get posted there and I recognize followers names.  I am not sure if I signed up for that or if it just happens automatically when you use a blogging platform.

I hesitate to label those whose names I do not recognize as illegitimate followers but it does amuse me that every once in a while I will get a notice that so and so followed me on Google+.  Sometime I get a whole bunch of those notices at once.  Sure, I would like to think my witty little jottings here are gaining recognition.  However, I am more inclined to thing of the whole Google+ thing as an invitation to scammers.

It seems a lot of those who would follow also want to "chat on Hangouts."  Chat about what exactly?

Lots of would be followers also seem to have two first names or two last names.  Some even seem to be confused about the whole name thing.
  • Williams harry
  • Raymond william
  • jeff William
  • frank william
  • Brown Jimmy
  • Tony Steve
  • Robinson Murphy
  • Donald patterson wayne
  • General Michael
  • Naval Architect
  • gorge richmond
  • mackeykathy Dawn
Somehow these strike me as suspicious names. I did not make up any of them.

Then there's Johnathon Louis and Eric Frank.  They look exactly alike! Imagine.  I suppose they could be identical twins who happen to eschew using their true last name and always go by first and middle, but I doubt it.

Then there is the unsettling preponderance of high ranking military officials on the list.  There are a few with white lab coats and stethoscopes slung around their necks.  Military officers and medical doctors -- exactly the type of people I picture having the time and inclination to chat with total strangers on Hangouts.

It's so sad that there are people out there willing or reduced to taking advantage of others.

Friday, August 10, 2018

My Card Hobby

I get together with several friends once or twice a month to make cards, have lunch, make some more cards, and generally solve all the problems of the world -- if only the world would listen.

I did take my grandson with me a couple of years ago.  His little head was just a swivel with the conversations going on.  At one point he leaned over to me, shaking his head, and said, "I would so be in time out."

Advantage of being a woman of a certain age -- you don't worry so much about having to be so well behaved.  Laughter is good for us.

Yesterday we had a delicious Mexican influenced salad, freshly baked zucchini bread, and a frozen dessert.  Another time I may post the dessert recipe because it was refreshing (even though rich) on a very hot day.

Okay .     .     .  so my phone is not going to unload, upload or down load any photos today.  Maybe never again.  I keep saying I need a new phone.  This may push me to do it finally.

We did make these cards a month ago:

I need more people to send cards to.  A lot of times I pack up a bunch and take them to a charity resale shop or donate them to a nursing home. But I can't stop making them.

Monday, August 6, 2018


I was taking a walk on Sunday morning -- a right popular time for walking I'd say.

A popular time for dog walking anyway.  I was feeling like I was driving without a license, afraid someone was going to stop and say. "Hey, where's your dog?  Did you forget your dog? Go home and get your dog."

I like dogs fine, I just don't want the responsibility of caring for one right now.  I have trouble enough keeping up a routine with my houseplants.  And spending most of my walks carrying a plastic bag of doggie poop -- just not for me.

The homeowners association where I live in Florida has a restriction on canine size.  A neighbor caused a righteous uproar when she got a cocker spaniel, considered a large dog in the eyes of the HOA.  My personal view is if a dog has to be smaller than a cocker spaniel, you might as well just get a  hamster.  They're quieter.

Another thing I noticed is that half the other walkers were using their phones while walking.  One woman was talking on her phone.  Talking on her phone!  How quaint!  Most of the others were in the process of texting.  That totally amazes me -- how someone can walk and text at the same time.
I have barely mastered chewing gum and walking (well, in theory, because I don't actually ever chew gum).  But if I had to text for some reason while out walking I would definitely have to come to a complete stop to do it.  I think the species may be evolving, selection going toward multitasking ability.

Temperatures got up to 89ºF on Sunday.  It was only 82 in the morning.  I get a lot of flack for thinking 82℉ is a quite pleasant temperature, comfortable for wearing shorts and a tee.  This person must of thought it a bit on the chilly side or maybe she just can't be exposed to direct sunlight:

The sun was bright and there was not a cloud in the sky.  BTW, that dog is small, but not hamster trade-in small.  The woman is pretty petite too, so dog and human are nicely proportional.

I did have my phone with me this time so I was able to get  photo of a swallowtail butterfly:

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Road Work

Road work.  Everywhere.  Necessary, yes, but also so annoying.  The road crews make efforts to do work at night along main rush highways and that helps.  Still, the work has to get done while the weather cooperates, knocking off a good chunk of time here in Vermont.  If you travel even to the grocery store at this time of year, it is likely you will spend some time stopped at a one lane only road construction site.

Audubon print

I was stopped two days ago along my way home from a morning yoga class. Ahh, must have been the benefits of that final savasana.  I was in no hurry and I really had nothing pressing on my mind.  I was stopped next to a huge vegetable patch that belongs to local organic farmers along one side, more gardens and the river on the other.  Between the road and the gardens, wild flowers were in bloom --
thistle, chicory, Queen Anne's lace -- and a flock of goldfinch were attracted.  Monarch butterflies were flitting about as well.

I had a second's regret at not having my phone to capture the beauty, but then is that even possible.  I relaxed and enjoyed the show until the stop sign was rotated to slow.

Diane's daisies

That's what yoga brain can do.